January 7, 2005 A PRIMEDIA Property Vol. III No. 1




CONTENTS
110.26 -- Spaces About Electrical Equipment

Who Cut My Wires?

What's Wrong Here?

Code Q&A

Code Quiz

NFPA Announces Corrections to 2005 NEC

Who Do You Call?


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    Top 2005 Code Changes
    110.26 -- Spaces About Electrical Equipment
    By Mike Holt
    The requirement that equipment rated 1,200A or more had to be more than 6 feet wide before an entrance was required at each end of the working space was removed.

    What the Code says:
    (C) Entrance to Working Space
    (2) Large Equipment. For equipment rated 1,200A or more and more than 6 ft wide, an entrance measuring not less than 24 in. wide and 61/2 ft high is required at each end of the working space. Where the entrance to the working space has a door, the door must open out and be equipped with panic hardware or other devices that open under simple pressure.
    (Click here for an illustration of the change.)

    Behind the change: The argument for the change was that the size of the arc blast is directly related to the ampere rating of the equipment, not the physical width of the equipment.


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    Nightmare Installations
    Who Cut My Wires?
    When I happened to stop by a newly remodeled grocery store where we had completed the temperature controls the previous week, I was met instantly by a hopping-mad manager. Apparently the place had been cold for several days. A quick measurement of the resistance of the thermistor sensor at the panel showed it was an open circuit. The store was so large that it had four far-flung temperature sensors in a series/parallel circuit, which is equal to one, but somewhere out there a wire had come loose and opened the loop. I quickly wired back in one sensor in the center of the store to get the heating system going. I then opened up several ceiling tiles and found four of our wires had been cut off about 10 feet from one of the sensors. Apparently the people who wired the public address system had run out of wire to complete their work so they cut our wires and used quite a long section of them to connect some speakers. The public address contractor couldn't believe that his people would do such a thing, but he came out to replace the work when I mentioned lawsuits and backcharges.
    Daniel Horon
    Sparta, Mich.


    Send your 200-word story to us and it may appear in a future issue of CodeWatch. Authors of stories chosen will receive $25.


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    Code Challenge
    What's Wrong Here?
    By Joe Tedesco
    How does this installation violate the NEC?

    Hint: This EMT and conduit body is installed in a wet location.

    Code Q&A
    By Mike Holt
    Q. Does the Code permit a circuit breaker to be installed horizontally?
    See the answer.


    Code Quiz
    By Steven Owen
    In a newly designed multi-family dwelling unit (208/120V, 3-phase, 4-wire system) the load on the service grounded "neutral" conductor is calculated to be 475A. What is the demand load, if any, on the grounded "neutral" conductor of this system?

    1. 392.5A
    2. 200A
    3. 475A
    4. 406.25A

    Visit EC&M's Web site for the answer and explanation.


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    Code News Updates
    NFPA Announces Corrections to 2005 NEC
    For those of you who were first in line to buy the latest Code book, it's time to get out your red pen and make some homemade revisions. NFPA just released a list of errata that apply to the first edition of the 2005 NEC. The full list of corrections can be found at the NFPA site. Although many of the errors involve transposed numbers and letters, some could have a significant effect on how Code requirements are interpreted.

    If you're unsure whether you have a first edition Code book, check the line of numbers that appear at the bottom of the inside front cover. If the last number is "1," you have a first edition.


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    Speak Out
    Who Do You Call?
    As the NFPA's recently published errata proves, even the NEC makes mistakes sometimes. When you encounter something in the Code that doesn't quite make sense, whom do you go to for clarification? Visit EC&M's Web site to tell us.

    You may want to tell your lazy neighbor to take his Christmas lights down every Spring, but the majority of CodeWatch readers think that's the electrical inspector's responsibility. Last issue's poll question received an usually high number of responses, and 56% of you think it's up to the inspector to inform homeowners of the NEC's 90-day restriction. A CodeWatch reader, Kid Stevens, suggested a different approach: "Send a letter or a code notification to the Local Power Utilities to include a message to the local users in the bill. This message will apprise the end users of Code changes that effect them directly." Food for thought.

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